With more than 380 miles of shoreline near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Keowee in northwest South Carolina is a picturesque place. If you’ve considered buying Lake Keowee real estate to take advantage of the views and the activities offered by the lake, here are a few things you need to know and consider if you want to buy a home there this spring.
1. Your First Priority Should Be to Find an Agent to Represent You.
When looking at Lake Keowee homes to find the one that is perfect for you, it’s important that you have someone on your side. When you start looking at Lake Keowee homes first before finding an agent, you have the potential to get into a situation where you are being represented by the same agent that is also managing the listing. This can be especially true if you are looking at any of the development communities, such as The Cliffs or The Reserve. How can you expect the agent to get the best deal for you when they also have loyalties to the seller?Working directly with an agent can also be beneficial in helping narrow down your home search on Lake Keowee. The best agents are able to listen to your wants and needs from Lake Keowee homes and quickly narrow down from hundreds of homes to a few that meet your criteria. You don’t have to spend a lot of time browsing new listings on Lake Keowee and visiting homes to find exactly what you want.
2. It’s Important to Get an Early Start.
Summer is the busiest time of year at Lake Keowee, so spring is a popular time for home sales. Most Lake Keowee homes come on the market in the spring or fall as people make decisions about future summers and vacations at their lake house. When you start early in the spring, you have the ability to view Lake Keowee real estate that remains on the market from last fall, which may provide an opportunity to score a great deal if the sellers are motivated to unload it. You also have the ability to immediately see new listings on Lake Keowee as they become available. This can allow you to snag the house you want before many people even realize it’s on the market.
3. Know Your Budget and Keep It in Mind.
Prices for new listings on Lake Keowee can vary greatly. You can spend anywhere from $100,000 to more than one million depending on location, square footage, home condition and amenities. In addition, some homes come with additional fees and costs. It’s important that you know your financials in advance and know how much you can afford to pay for Lake Keowee real estate. This includes the actual purchase price and any additional expenses you may incur from homeownership including:
- Home repair and maintenance costs
- Landscaping costs
- Homeowners Association Dues
- Property taxes
- Property management fees
It’s also important that you get pre-approved before you begin searching for your Lake Keowee real estate. This will ensure that you don’t waste your time looking at houses that you can’t afford. Plus having pre-approval allows you to make a strong offer immediately on a house as soon as you find the one that’s right for you.
4. Understand that Most Lake Development is Controlled by Duke Energy.
Lake Keowee is primarily controlled by Duke Energy, as it is a manmade lake built to serve their needs. They use the water from the lake to cool their nuclear towers and generate hydroelectricity power. As a result, Duke Energy controls what type of construction and development can occur in many parts of Lake Keowee as they seek to protect and preserve the lake to ensure it continues to meet their needs. Even something as simple as adding a dock on an existing property is subject to their regulations. You’ll need to file a permit with Duke Energy and be granted approval before you can start construction. This is something to keep in mind when looking at new listings on Lake Keowee that may lack amenities you may want to add. You can view permitting requirements online by visiting Duke Energy’s Lake Keowee Permit for Shoreline Activities
5. Understand Your Reason for Buying Lake Keowee Real Estate and Know What You Need in a House.
When checking out new listings on Lake Keowee, it’s important to know why you are purchasing the house. This will help you determine what exactly you need from Lake Keowee real estate. For example, you may be looking for a summer lake house to create memories with your family, or you could be a couple wanting to retire to Lake Keowee. The property needs of a family with a summer vacation house and a retiring couple planning to live permanently at Lake Keowee are quite different. As a family, you probably desire space and direct access to the lake. However, if you’re a couple retiring, you might be looking for less space and more amenities, such as convenient access to a golf course or home maintenance and yard care included in your homeowner’s association costs.If you’re having trouble determining exactly what you need from Lake Keowee homes, consider the following questions.
- Will this be my permanent home, or will I use this as a secondary home for vacations and holidays?
- Will I have a lot of guests staying in my home, or will I rent this out when I’m not using it?
- What amount of space and privacy do I require from a Lake Keowee home?
- What items will I keep at the house, and what type of storage do I need to accommodate these items?
- What type of view and access to the water am I envisioning?
- What activities, attractions, and amenities are important to me and my family?
- Do I need to be in close proximity to nearby shops and restaurants, or do I want something that is more secluded?
6. Consider the Maintenance and Upkeep Needs of Lake Keowee Homes.
Regardless of location, all homes require maintenance and upkeep to ensure they remain in good condition. This is true for Lake Keowee homes, which are exposed to all four seasons. Consider in advance what level of maintenance and upkeep you are willing to provide for the property and choose a house that aligns with this. For example, if you are using your Lake Keowee real estate as a summer getaway, you probably don’t want to spend your time at your lake house doing maintenance on the home or landscaping in the yard. In this case, it may make more sense to look at new listings on Lake Keowee and purchase a property in a development community, such as The Cliffs, where they handle these services and include the cost in your fees for the community.In addition to ongoing maintenance needs, it is also important to consider how much remodeling and repair you are willing to put into the property when you purchase it. You may be able to find a great price on Lake Keowee real estate if you are willing to get your hands dirty up front. However, this takes time and money, which you need to factor into your decision. If you find a house in late April that needs a little bit of work, it may be tough to pull that off before summer vacation gets into full swing by the time you take into consideration how long it takes to close on the house.
7. Pick a Location or Two on the Lake to Start Your Search of New Listings on Lake Keowee.
With more than 380 miles of shoreline, it can take quite a long time to travel around the lake, and this can potentially be problematic for you when looking at Lake Keowee homes. When you don’t have a specific area of the lake that you are interested in, you may look at new listings on Lake Keowee that are in various spots. It can take significant time to travel from one area of the lake to another, and this can greatly reduce the time you have to go to open houses and complete walk-throughs of potential homes.To prevent getting bogged down by the size of the lake, spend time in advance driving around the lake and checking out different spots. Identify one or two areas of the lake you like best that fit what you are looking for from a space, community, and access to amenities perspective. Then begin reviewing the homes and new listings on Lake Keowee that exist in that area. This will ensure that you are able to visit more Lake Keowee homes as you won’t spend so much time in a car or boat traveling from one to the other. If for some reason you aren’t able to find the house you are looking for within your narrowed down areas, you can start to expand your search area outwards from these areas until you find the one that is best for you.
8. Keep in Mind that Summer Will be Busier with People and Traffic.
While lake activities start to pick up in the spring, they really don’t get into full swing until Memorial Day weekend in late May. As a result, the traffic and amount of people at the lake can be deceiving for home buyers making a purchase in spring. When you visit a home in March or April, it can be quiet, peaceful and relaxing even though there are neighbors close by on both sides and a road out in front of the home. It’s important to consider both of these homes filled with large groups of people and a constant flow of traffic, from both the road in front and the lake out behind. Can you tolerate the people, the traffic, the noise and any potential lack of privacy? Or do you need to continue your search to find a house that’s a little more off the beaten path and a little more secluded from neighboring houses?
9. Find the Amenities that are Important to You.
Fishing, sailing, kayaking, water skiing, boating, and swimming are just a few of the activities that Lake Keowee provides homeowners. When browsing new listings on Lake Keowee, it’s important to know what lake activities are important to you and what additional amenities you might need. If you already have a boat and enjoy taking it out, a house having its own dock and boat slip that can accommodate your existing boat may be a requirement. However, if you just want to be able to walk to the lake and go swimming, you may be okay with a property that isn’t lakefront but remains within walking distance.Activities offered by the lake aren’t the only amenities that you should consider when looking at Lake Keowee homes. The area is home to a variety of other amenities and attractions, and some houses will offer non-lake amenities, which you may find valuable for you and your family. Consider the following amenities and attractions when searching for the right Lake Keowee real estate for you.
- Swimming pool
Perfect place for kayaking.
- Dock or fishing pier
- Boat slip
- Boat storage (for when not in use)
- Golf course
- Tennis courts
- Gym or fitness center
- Access to nearby shops and restaurants
10. Be Prepared to Act Quickly.
Desirable Lake Keowee homes can go fast, so it’s important that you know that you may need to act quickly if you find a property that meets your needs and is highly desirable to you. This is especially true as you get closer to summer as last-minute homebuyers wanting to secure a lake house for the summer can be desperate to snatch up properties. Being ready to act fast will help ensure you get exactly what want in Lake Keowee real estate.